Frequently Asked Questions

Why should my child take martial arts?
How do I choose a martial arts school?
What do you teach at Pence Self-Defense Academy?
Do you offer a trial period?
What should I wear to my first class? What should I bring?
How long does it take to earn a black belt?
Is there a registration or start-up fee?
Can you teach at my office?
How do I get in touch with you? Where are you located?

Why should my child take martial arts?

It helps develop healthy lifetime habits.
Kids who exercise are more likely to keep exercising as adults. Because of our emphasis on personal responsibility, respect, discipline, and control; and our acceptance of individuals of all levels of physical skill, Martial Arts provides a great alternative to other sports, which may tend to exclude certain children.

It helps maintain a healthy body.
The exercises we do in class help our students improve cardiovascular function, build muscle, and achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

It helps maintain a strong body.
Regular physical activity such as Martial Arts helps build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints.

Martial arts helps develop other skills.
Because our curriculum emphasizes courtesy, modesty, respect, and integrity, Martial Arts aids in the development of important interpersonal skills. In addition, Martial Arts at our school promotes the self-discipline necessary to set and achieve life goals. Of course, we also offer the best in self-defense training.

Martial arts helps you to feel better and sleep better.
In conjunction with a healthy diet that is low in fat, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives, vigorous physical activity such as Martial Arts classes improve the quantity and quality of children’s sleep.

Martial arts helps children perform better in school.
Our own experience, as well as research has shown that the emphasis placed on Focus and Concentration as developed in our classes promotes improved school attendance and enhances children’s academic performance.

Martial arts helps children develop a strong self-image.
Because of the positive, highly motivational atmosphere of our classes, kids who practice Martial Arts have greater self-esteem and better self-images. Children with a strong self-esteem are better equipped to resist bullies and negative peer pressure.

Martial arts helps reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Participating in regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases for children (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension) and promotes an overall healthy lifestyle.

Martial arts helps reduce anxiety and stress.
Children who are active report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and a better overall mood.

Martial arts helps improve motor skills.
The blocking, punching, kicking and other techniques and drills of Martial Arts helps improve children’s motor coordination and enhances the development of various motor performance skills.
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How do I choose a martial arts school?

Print this out before you go to the area schools, and don’t be shy! Just ask the questions, and you will discover what you need to know to make a good choice for you or your child!

  • Is the actual class taught by a qualified instructor?
  • What is the student to teacher ratio?
  • What are the instructor’s credentials?
    • How many years have they trained in the arts ?
    • How many years have they taught the arts ?
  • Does the instructor still take lessons as a student from a Senior Instructor?
  • Is the school part of a established organization?
  • Do they mind if you contact the organization to verify?
  • Does the Dojo follow an established system of teaching?
  • Does the Dojo teach sport karate or an established system of self-defense?
  • Do they offer a free trial membership?
  • Is the training hall cleaned regularly (rugs, mats, pads, bathrooms)?
  • Are the students disciplined and respectful, but still having fun?

Talk to the students, watch a class or two.
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What do you teach at Pence Self-Defense Academy?

This Dojo has been teaching the ancient martial arts for more than 40 years. Many Masters of today have trained within these walls. We provide our students traditional training with proven, efficient self-defense techniques, traditional Japanese, Filipino and Chinese Kata, defense against knives, guns, clubs and multiple opponents. Our Ju-jitsu combos will work your skills to escape from grabs and holds. The Chin-Na technique training will teach you how to trap, lock and control your attacker. Our Shaolin Five Animal fighting techniques will work on all of this and more. The training with traditional martial art weaponry will give the student a good rounding of their art.

The Pence Self-Defense Academy can give you functional training in critical survival skills such as empty hand, knife, and impact weapon combatives, as well as physical and mental conditioning. When that moment arrives where failure is not an option, only your training will help you prevail when faced with today’s vicious and frequently trained thugs. We teach…

  • Defenses against grabs & holds
  • Defenses against punches and kicks
  • Defenses against knives/sticks/bats
  • Defenses against chokes and headlocks
  • Defenses against common muggings
  • Defenses against firearms

We train with many traditional Okinawan weapons, including Tonfa, Sai, Kama, Bo, Jo, and Katana. Chinese weapons taught include Spear, Shaolin Broad Sword (Dao), Butterfly Swords, as well as Filipino Kali baton & dagger. We also train with modern weapons found in everyday life.
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Do you offer a trial period?

Pence Self-Defense is pleased to offer a free week of training for all new students. This is in keeping with our role as a unique community resource for those who wish to learn about the martial arts.

“Free” means:

  • No cost to the student
  • One free intro private.
  • No contracts EVER or further obligation.
  • Regular training with group classes.
  • You provide only the sweat!

We hope you will take advantage of this special offer.
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What should I wear to my first class? What should I bring?

  • Wear loose fitting long pants and socks.
  • Wear a plain shirt that tucks in with no buttons or pockets.
  • Bring a bottle of water to every class.
  • DO NOT carry any live weapons into our school. You will find yourself quickly ejected! Government and law enforcement agents must have their firearms correctly secured away and out of sight. We have a safe where they may be checked.
  • If you have a pre-existing injury, it must be properly dressed and cared for before you begin to train. We have red tape (to mark injuries) at the dojo so that others may be reminded.
  • We ask that you call before you plan to attend your first class to schedule your visit.

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How long does it take to earn a black belt?

The time it takes to become a Black Belt is dependent on your abilities and hard work. For students to reach a Black Belt, most students take 3-1/2 to 4 years. The more time spent in practice, in conjunction with 2 or 3 group classes per week, will allow you to progress faster than those who only practice in 1 class per week. One monthly private class also helps!
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Is there a registration or start-up fee?

Most schools charge a $100-$200 start-up fee, or a “registration fee,” when you first enroll. When you divide that initial fee over the 1st year, and add it to your regular tuition, you find that you are paying more than you were quoted. When you ask a school about its tuition, they will quote you the lowest monthly rate, be sure you ask about other fees.

Here there are no registration fees. The first week is FREE; the first paid month includes a FREE uniform. This is in keeping with our role as a unique community resource for those who wish to learn about the martial arts in a relaxed setting.
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Can you come teach at my office?

Yes, we offer clinics for you and your colleagues at work or school for “street smart self-defense” that works great in parking lots, cars or anywhere! In just a few hours we can teach you the tricks to stay clear of an attack and how to get out of many holds that may happen in the street!
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How do I get in touch with you? Where are you located?

You can find that information on our Contact & Directions page.
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